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Fredericksburg Area Soccer Association players will have seven new fields to play on starting next year when
A rendering shows the 16-field complex planned
Thousands of soccer players will begin competing on a so-called "Field of Dreams" in Spotsylvania County next year.
The Fredericksburg Area Soccer Association plans to finish construction on seven irrigated fields in the New Post area in the fall.
The fields may have some ceremonial games this year, but won't be used regularly until spring 2013, FASA general manager Pete Cinalli said.
The organization will have a groundbreaking ceremony at the site off Tidewater Trail near the U.S. 17 bypass at noon on Friday--about two years after the complex was approved by the county Board of Supervisors.
"It's certainly been a long road but well worth every minute," Cinalli said. "It's going to change this entire community for years to come."
FASA has a membership of nearly 2,000 players, most of whom are from Fredericksburg or the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline. They can start playing at age 4 and stay with the organization through college.
The $3.5 million build-out of the seven Bermuda-grass soccer fields is part of what FASA is calling a "Field of Dreams" that will include 16 fields. The Virginia Youth Soccer Association is building the other nine fields and is expected to break ground in the next year.
In July 2010, Spotsylvania supervisors signed an agreement for the outdoor soccer complex, which officials say will be among the largest on the East Coast.
Supervisor Gary Skinner said he thinks it will generate about $1.5 million annually in local tax revenue. Officials expect players from the entire the East Coast and some from outside the country.
"I am tickled to death about it," Skinner said. "We're short soccer fields in this county, there's no doubt about it."
He said he expects the state association to begin construction by this time next year. It may start earlier on two artificial-turf fields, Skinner said.
"I'm hoping by the end of '13 we're going to have a full complex of 16" soccer fields, he said. In addition, plans call for 1,200 parking spaces.
FASA closed on 230 acres at New Post late last year and will build its fields on 30 acres. The state association will build its nine fields on about 40 acres, Cinalli said.
The surrounding green space with trees and Ruffins Pond will provide a nice backdrop, he said.
"We're protecting the area around there," Cinalli said.
Other anticipated amenities include an open-air pavilion, restrooms and a trail system.
Skinner said he also expects commercial development in the area, maybe even a hotel.
"I see the future being very bright out there," he said.
Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402